HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT FABRIC FOR YOUR UNIFORM
hen it comes to lasting good looks and wearability understanding the best fabric choice is essential. Get this right and you’ll have workwear that feels great as well as looking good – get it wrong, and you’ll have uncomfortable colleagues, and clothing that quickly looks shabby.
We believe uniforms are only as good as the fabrics used to make them. Not only should your uniforms be stylish and comfortable, but they should also be durable.
Selecting fabrics can feel like a daunting task and at Studio 104 we choose the right fabrics for uniforms day in and day out and we have the knowledge and experience to know exactly what to look for.
Below, we have put together a guide to ensure you make the right selection and decisions for your uniform.
Comfort is essential
Comfort is key when it comes to workwear. You need to be able to rely on your workwear to be durable, resistant, and wearable. Staff require fabric which will keep them comfortable in high heat as well as outdoor elements. If it was not for good quality workwear materials getting through your every day, jobs would become increasingly harder. Look for fabrics that are comfortable to wear, are not too hot and have some stretch, if possible. It is also a good idea to choose fabrics that won't shrink too much and are not scratchy.
The first thing to consider when choosing the fabric for your uniforms is the type of work you will do. Choosing the right fabric, will allow workers to get the job done,without worrying. For example, you can consider using a heavier twill for housekeeping due to its density and hard-wearing nature or perhaps a soft flowing polyester fabric for hostess dresses and tops which require more drape and elegance. Keep fabrics practical and well suited to the job role.
Use Polyester / Cotton Blend Fabrics
For workers in both indoor and outdoor environments, a blend of polyester and cotton is very effective and a popular choice foruniform. This blend has the best of both worlds: the comfort and breathability of cotton with the added benefits of polyester.
Polyester blended fabrics are stain and wrinkle resistant. They also maintain their shape better and are more resistant tostains. Select this in a mid-weight fabric for all seasons.
The durability and high thread count of twill fabric, alongside few wrinkles and creases due to the thickness of the fabric, make is a popular choice for clothing for workwear. Twill fabrics show few stains due to the direction of pattern which helps hide dirt and stains from view, so spills at home or on clothes aredisguised more easily. This weave works well across all fabrics for uniform.
A perfect selection for shirting, this fabric blend is breathable, long wearing, soft and durable. These qualities mean that it can withstand significant wear and tear – unlike 100% cotton blends, which need to be looked after carefully. Poly cotton fabrics dry relatively quickly, despite being absorbent. This is because polyester, a synthetic material, dries incredibly quickly and cotton, a natural material, is the fastest drying of its kind.
Test your fabrics
When producing garments, an integral part is the fabric and garment testing. This is key to delivering something that not only looks good but feels good and wears well. Main tests to be aware of are:
Ø Dimensional stability to washing and dry cleaning to ensureminimal shrinkage
Ø Tear strength – to ensure garments do not rip under stress
Ø Colour fastness – To ensure the colour does not transfer whenwashing
Ø Pilling – To ensure pilling does not occur under intenserubbing
Ø Seam slippage – To ensure the seams are secure and do notcome apart when wearing
Select the right supplier
The mistake that companies often make is to fall on the first supplier they find, not carrying out a proper market research and not evaluating more suppliers among them. Do your research and choose the right supplier. Look for a supplier that specialises in uniforms and has experience working with design, functionality and fabric testing and canguide you to making the right decisions. At Studio 104 we would be happy to help you design and develop your uniforms, and we provide a dedicated, high-end service supplying exclusively designed, bespoke and contemporary uniforms, to luxury and premium brands worldwide.
Don’t put cost before comfort
Are you going for cost over durability? Many companies might choose low quality uniformfabric material either due to lack of knowledge or cheaper quality material dueto low-budget, which lead to damages and affect the durability and long run ofthe uniform. Be aware as low-quality fabrics may break down faster and the cost to replace uniforms may be a false economy.
Look after your Uniforms
Keep your eyes peeled for my next post to show how to maintain and look after your uniforms.
Written by Christine – Senior Product Developer
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View more Luxury Craft articles:
WORKING WITH A BRITISH TAILORING AND FAMILY-OWNED MILL
EVALUATING & IDENTIFYING WHATYOU REQUIRE FROM A NEW FACTORY PARTNER
OVERPRODUCTION IS OVER: WHYMADE-TO-ORDER IS THE SMARTER SUSTAINABLE OPTION
SELECTING THE RIGHT SUPPLIER TOPARTNER - SUSTAINABILITY, QUALITY & RELIABILITY
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